Chances are that, if you’ve ever heard people talking about search engine optimization, you’ve been hearing a lot about keywords. The truth is, that’s not all there is to SEO. There are a variety of other techniques that you can use to boost your blog online and help improve search engine rankings, therefore directing more traffic your way. Build a crawlable site is one of them.
How Search Engines Work
To understand how to work with search engines, you need to know a little about how they actually work. Think of the internet as a big database of information, which the search engines need to filter through in order to find content that their users are searching for. They do this by storing every webpage on the internet in smaller databases based upon keywords (which is the main basis for returning searches).
In order to find webpages, search engines use bots called crawlers that scour the internet for content by following links, and then putting this content into their databases depending on keywords in the raw text and the HTML. Of course, then, keywords are a major factor in search engine optimization, but there are other things you can do to make your site more accessible to the search engine crawlers.
Crawlers, as mentioned above, have to group the webpages they find into smaller, more manageable databases. This is called indexing. How, then, can you make your content indexable for search engines?
Crawlers form pathways through the content they find, following links they come across to find content they haven’t yet come across. For this reason, it is extremely important to establish a link structure on your site that is easy for crawlers to navigate. Many website-builders create a navigation structure that is impossible for crawlers to navigate.
Another thing to note is that certain pages cannot be reached by crawlers even if there is a link, such as those that require visitors to fill in a submission form (like a password or survey). Other links that cause problems are those embedded in plug-ins including Flash or Java.
There are also ways to make your content crawlable. Firstly, ensure that your content is accessible in a HTML format, so that crawlers can read the text and sift through keywords. This is where it gets a little more complicated, because non-text formats, such as images and flash files, are often devalued, or may even be ignored by search engines. Try providing alt text for images and formatting, or just try providing a transcript for video and audio content so that the keywords are still accessible.
To conclude, there are other techniques to optimize your site for search engines than just keywords. The main idea is to ensure that everything is linked together well and readable in HTML format. Finally, remember that search engines rank sites by relevance and popularity, and this is what will be pushed in the future. So try to up your user engagement to boost those ratings even further!